Nirvana

not much chance,
completely cut loose from
purpose,
he was a young man
riding a bus
through North Carolina
on the wat to somewhere
and it began to snow
and the bus stopped
at a little cafe
in the hills
and the passengers
entered.
he sat at the counter
with the others,
he ordered and the
food arived.
the meal was
particularly
good
and the
coffee.
the waitress was
unlike the women
he had
known.
she was unaffected,
there was a natural
humor which came
from her.
the fry cook said
crazy things.
the dishwasher.
in back,
laughed, a good
clean
pleasant
laugh.
the young man watched
the snow through the
windows.
he wanted to stay
in that cafe
forever.
the curious feeling
swam through him
that everything
was
beautiful
there,
that it would always
stay beautiful
there.
then the bus driver
told the passengers
that it was time
to board.
the young man
thought, I’ll just sit
here, I’ll just stay
here.
but then
he rose and followed
the others into the
bus.
he found his seat
and looked at the cafe
through the bus
window.
then the bus moved
off, down a curve,
downward, out of
the hills.
the young man
looked straight
foreward.
he heard the other
passengers
speaking
of other things,
or they were
reading
or
attempting to
sleep.
they had not
noticed
the
magic.
the young man
put his head to
one side,
closed his
eyes,
pretended to
sleep.
there was nothing
else to do-
just to listen to the
sound of the
engine,
the sound of the
tires
in the
snow.

by Charles Bukowski

Comments (6)

*wat = way *foreward = forward
Thanx for posting the whole poem. It is a wonder.* *
Thank you James for your contribution (I will now proceed to comment on this BRILLIANT poem) This has to be my favorite poem by Charles. It really shows how powerful the simple things in the world are to him, and how from something as mundane as sitting in a cafe while it's snowing could have such a powerful effect on him. There is magic in this world, but it's hidden. If you're lucky enough to actually have your mind, heart, soul, and eyes open when you're in it's presence, then you will understand this poem personally.
This is not the full text of the poem. It's actually much more interesting and meaningful than that. The full text of this poem taken from another poetry site (americanpoems.com) is: not much chance, completely cut loose from purpose, he was a young man riding a bus through North Carolina on the wat to somewhere and it began to snow and the bus stopped at a little cafe in the hills and the passengers entered. he sat at the counter with the others, he ordered and the food arived. the meal was particularly good and the coffee. the waitress was unlike the women he had known. she was unaffected, there was a natural humor which came from her. the fry cook said crazy things. the dishwasher. in back, laughed, a good clean pleasant laugh. the young man watched the snow through the windows. he wanted to stay in that cafe forever. the curious feeling swam through him that everything was beautiful there, that it would always stay beautiful there. then the bus driver told the passengers that it was time to board. the young man thought, I'll just sit here, I'll just stay here. but then he rose and followed the others into the bus. he found his seat and looked at the cafe through the bus window. then the bus moved off, down a curve, downward, out of the hills. the young man looked straight foreward. he heard the other passengers speaking of other things, or they were reading or attempting to sleep. they had not noticed the magic. the young man put his head to one side, closed his eyes, pretended to sleep. there was nothing else to do- just to listen to the sound of the engine, the sound of the tires in the snow.
Shame! ! ! , 'not much chance 'to read (and print) the full text from your site............Why is it? ? ? That's it; I'll go somewhere else to get this powerful poem I discovered through Tom Waits' latest album listening.Thanks to him, shame on you!
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